Supporting your student at Macquarie

You probably have lots of questions about how you can support your student, and what role you might play in their university career.

Students who have a support base of people who are interested in their progress have a much better chance of success at university than those who feel isolated or unsupported.

By understanding the information provided on this page, you are showing you care about your student’s experience. You will have an idea of what their life at university will be like, and you will be aware of the resources that are available to help them achieve success.

Join us for our Parents/Carers event on 8 February, 6pm in the Macquarie Theatre, 21 Wally's Walk.

Hear from a parent about their student's experience starting at Macquarie.

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Study life

Learning options

Macquarie offers a range of learning modes, (which may differ with each unit), allowing students to schedule their time around study and other commitments.

Yanina talks about her experience learning online at Macquarie during COVID.

Unit loads for each student will also depend on whether they are a domestic or international student. This is because there are certain restrictions for visa holders. Each standard unit at Macquarie is 10 credit points. A full time domestic undergraduate or postgraduate student will study between 30 to 40 points per session (ie. 3-4 units). International students are required to study 4 units (ie. 40 credit points) in each compulsory study period. Read more information about international students visa requirements.

Choosing units and enrolling

Students can view a full list of units in the course handbook. The first time enrolment webpage can also assist with tips about how to enrol.


Unit offerings are composed of a study period, attendance pattern, and location of attendance. A time requirement and frequency will also usually be specified.

Attendance patterns might be one of two options:

  • In-person (internal) mode: A unit that has one or more learning activities that require face-to-face attendance. This could include in-person assessments like exams.
  • Online (external) mode: A unit where all learning activities can be taken fully online.

Unit learning activities may be either scheduled or flexible. If units have scheduled activities, students will need to participate in these at specific times (and this may even apply if they are studying online). If units are fully flexible, there are no scheduled activities and the unit is self-paced, using materials and communication on iLearn.

More information about understanding units and types of learning modes.


iLearn is MQU’s online learning platform. This is where tutors and lecturers will upload course information, such as unit readings, lecture recordings, notes, and other important information. Students login to iLearn using their OneID.

eStudent – student administration portal

eStudent is the place where students can manage all their study-related administration, including enrolling, registering for classes, checking results and paying fees.


Assessments are structured in a variety of ways. They may include:

  • in-person exams
  • essays
  • multiple choice quizzes
  • take-home exams
  • time-limited exams.

Some units will not use exams at all but will rely on assessment tasks that student complete and hand in during the session.

You can read more about assessments at the following links:

Pre-booked holidays or events are not considered serious and unavoidable circumstances in relation to Special Consideration. Students should check the draft exam timetable before exams to ensure they don't prioritise conflicting personal commitments over university commitments.

What if things aren’t working out?

Withdrawal without penalty

Withdrawal Without Penalty is available for students who have experienced serious and unavoidable disruption to their studies after census date. Further information is available on the Withdraw without penalty page of the website.

Special Consideration

Students can also apply for special consideration, if their studies have been disrupted but they want to continue with their units. Special consideration may be granted for circumstances that are deemed serious and unavoidable.

Changing units or study path

Sometimes students find out that what they’ve chosen to study isn’t quite right for them, or they find something else that really excites them! This is a normal part of university study and happens for many students. You can read more about how to change units or your study path.

Leave of absence

For situations where students really need to take a break from study due to other pressing commitments or for compassionate reasons, domestic students can apply for a leave of absence.

Suspension of studies (international students)

Students holding a student visa can temporarily suspend their studies during the course, for compelling or compassionate circumstances, through a formal agreement. For more information on this, see withdrawing from your course.

A quick look at any of the web pages linked in this module will demonstrate that academic integrity is a major priority for Macquarie University.

Academic integrity is vital to a student’s academic success and can be a strong predictor of professional achievement in their career. By upholding academic integrity, students will not only increase the depth and value of their learning experience, but they will also develop the attributes of perseverance, determination and hard work that will serve them well in their future employment.

Acting with academic integrity means that students are:

  • submitting assignments that are their own work
  • acknowledging the ideas and information of others by citing and referencing
  • providing accurate and honest data and information to the university, such as medical certificates
  • reporting breaches of academic integrity on the part of others
  • avoiding dishonest academic practices such collusion or contract cheating.

Academic integrity values

The values of academic integrity at Macquarie are honesty, respect, trust, responsibility and support.

Academic Integrity module

Macquarie University has developed an Academic Integrity Module which is designed to help students understand what is and isn’t acceptable regarding academic practice. Most students will complete this online module via iLearn as part of a unit requirement. Once completed, students can always go back to the module to refresh their understanding on this topic.

If your student is finding it difficult to understand or meet the University’s requirements, it’s important they know that help and support are available! For further information on the academic integrity policy and how to access support, there is a dedicated web page: Academic Integrity.

To check important dates, such as session start dates, exam periods and dates to withdraw, we recommend that you bookmark the University calendar.

Every university has its own terminology and acronyms – it can get confusing! Fortunately if you come across a word or abbreviation you’re not familiar with, you can go straight to the glossary on the website

For latest news, important links, contact information and key dates, the Student Information page is a one-stop shop. This also holds links to eStudent (where students go to enrol, register for classes and check exam results) and iLearn (where online learning material for each subject is held).

Moving to another country to study is an exciting and daunting prospect, but fortunately Macquarie University has taught many international students and has multiple supports in place.

Neta talks about her experience as a parent/carer of an international student.

On the International Students webpage, students can access information that will help them before they even plan their travel arrangements, including visa conditions and health insurance.

Returning international students have their own webpage, with reminders about all the arrangements they will need to make after having been away for a while.

If your student is coming to Australia, or Sydney, for the first time, there is International student information available to help them settle in and find their way around. Sydney is a wonderful city, with beautiful natural landscapes and lots of interesting things to do and see.

If they are thinking about working while they are here, you can find out about their work rights and look for a job on the website too.


The tuition fees for each unit may vary.

For specific information on international coursework student fees, research student fees and paying their fees, head to the Fees and Costs page on the website.

International students should factor in costs of living such as:

  • accommodation
  • travel
  • food
  • medical expenses
  • insurance
  • study materials (stationery, books, laptop etc.).

Estimates of how much money your student should budget for essentials can be calculated from the Study Australia webpage.

Culture shock

It is common when relocating to another country to go through culture shock – a period of adjustment that can be difficult emotionally and psychologically. In fact, this process is so common that it has been represented in a graph! As you can see, there are ups and downs, and these are normal. If you and your student understand that they are likely to experience this and it's a normal part of adaptation, it will be easier for you to support them through it.

Macquarie University has many cultural student groups who may be able to assist your student to settle in and feel at home.

The Macquarie University Buddies program and the English Language Café are also great ways to deal with culture shock.

Leave of absence

For situations where students really need to take a break from study due compelling or compassionate reasons, they can apply for a leave of absence. International students on a student visa must apply for a Suspension of Study (SoS) if they wish to temporarily suspend their studies for compelling or compassionate circumstances.

International students have their own assigned contact person, the International Student Engagement Officer – find their contact details.

Uni life

Students have access to a variety of options for accommodation while they are studying. They may decide to live on campus, in university-operated accommodation or there is also information about how to obtain off-campus accommodation (not managed by the university).

Information on both options is available on the Accommodation page.

Watch this video for a first-hand view of what it’s like to live on campus.

Campus accommodation offers 24-hour security, including CCTV and patrolling officers. Entry to university accommodation buildings is by pass only.

If your student is going to rent accommodation or enter into any kind of lease, the university has information and support to help make this a smooth process. It is also advisable for students to know their rights and responsibilities as a tenant, especially when they are sharing with other people. The Tenants’ Union has information about tenant rights and responsibilities. The My Legal Mate app also has resources for managing accommodation disputes.

For any concerns about a student’s safety or wellbeing, help is available on the Wellbeing page, including details about who to contact in an emergency.

Macquarie University offers such a wide variety of facilities and services that it is almost self-contained. Students and staff have access to multiple food and drink options, as well as a gym and poola doctor and other health services, and childcare facilities.

IT support and assistance is available to students via phone, online, and in person at the Tech Bar.

For any facilities that can’t be found on campus, Macquarie shopping centre is just across the road from the university. The centre website lists all stores and services that are available, and the centre’s opening hours.

Getting to and from campus

The university is accessible by bike, car, bus, and train. For more information about getting to and from campus, see the following sources of information:

How will my student get a job?

Macquarie University has a service that helps students with employment, both on and off campus – it is called Macquarie Student Employment (MQSE). Students can register to access career and employability resources, find out about workshops, events, and placements, and check out available jobs.

MQSE offer:

  • workshops and career consultations – book online through Employability Connect
  • career events throughout the year – such as fairs, industry expert presentations and seminars
  • exclusive access to online tools such as MyMQ Career Zone and Resume Checker CV360, which checks a résumé and gives tailored feedback
  • help to place students in jobs.

To learn more about the support services available, you can visit the MQSE web page. International students can also access this website to learn more about finding a job.

How we keep your student safe

On campus, patrolling security officers and CCTV cameras keep students safe at all times,   and there are over 50 emergency help points (blue poles) around campus that can be used to talk to the Security Control Centre at any time of the day or night.


Students can contact Campus Security via an emergency help point or by calling (02) 9850 9999. Campus Security will call 000 and direct NSW Police, Fire or Ambulance.

Shuttle buses help students move safely around campus, to accommodation and to the station in the evenings.

Students can and should report safety threats, inappropriate behaviour, or sexual assault/harassment. Details on how to report and access support are available on the Safety and Security page.


Emergency help points (blue poles) are strategically positioned throughout the campus. Students can use these points to connect with Campus Security at any time when they feel (or someone else feels) unwell or if safety is threatened and they need immediate help.


Students can make a request for Campus Security to walk them from any location on campus to the train station, campus bus stops, the surrounding car park areas or any of our accommodation. The service operates every day of the year, but students should try to contact them well in advance to arrange. Call (02) 9850 7112 to request a Campus Security escort.

Safer Communities @ MQ

It is mandatory for all students to complete an online course, Safer Communities @ MQ, to help prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment. You can read more about what is covered in this course on the Prevention and Education page.

There’s more to university than just study! An important part of being a student is making friends and enjoying all the experiences that are on offer, including sports, clubs, societies, seminars, workshops, conferences, and events.

Students can keep up to date with what’s on offer by checking the following sources:

Here is an easy-access list of the support services available, linked to the website so you can quickly find more information about each service.

Service Connect is your (and your student’s) first point of contact for any queries. You can contact Service Direct via chat on the web page, via phone on +61 (2) 9850 6410, or students can use AskMQ to submit an online enquiry.

Macquarie University promotes healthy living on campus and advocates the responsible consumption of alcohol.

Partnering with Medibank, we have a variety of resources available to help you make informed choices about your food, wellbeing and relationship habits:


Eat: Explore our delicious, healthy recipes and nutrition tips from our experts.

Move: From hip hop yoga to HIIT, you’ll find easy to follow exercise classes and tips from our experts to get you moving.

Feel: Look after your wellbeing with guided meditations, mindfulness tips art classes and more.

Hear from Michelle again as she provides some advice for students and their parents/carers about studying at Macquarie

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